Cape Town – Where’s the best place in the country to head out with a swimming costume, towel and sunscreen in hand?
It’s Camp’s Bay beach, for a second consecutive year, according to TripAdvisor’s 2015 Traveller’s Choice Awards, which this week listed the Cape Town beach as the best in South Africa and the second best in Africa.
The popular 900m white sandy beach, set about with palm trees, was, however, pipped to the number one spot in Africa by Anse Lazio beach, on Praslin Island, Seychelles.
In all, three Cape Town beaches made the top 10 in the Africa region for the annual awards, which are based on the recommendations and comments of TripAdvisor users during the past 12 months.
The website, founded in 2000, has to date garnered more than 200 million reviews and opinions on hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions.
Each year it publishes awards for the best beaches, hotels, islands, restaurants, and more.
The three city beaches that made the African top 10 are Camps Bay at number two, Clifton Beach (First beach through fourth) at number four, and Bloubergstrand at number nine.
Camps Bay was also classed as the 11th best beach in the world, up from number 24 last year.
The beach, beloved by tourists and Capetonians alike, is directly opposite the fashionable bars and restaurants on Victoria Road, and has a superb setting at the foot of the western edge of Table Mountain.
It boasts easy access from Victoria Road, has a large tidal pool for children to swim in, and is sheltered from southerly winds that whip across the Peninsula in summer.
Enver Duminy, chief executive of Cape Town Tourism, said the awards were “a wonderful endorsement for our city”, and would help maintain the Mother City’s status as a go-to destination for international travellers.
TripAdvisor commentators praised Camps Bay’s location, soft white sand and how child- friendly it was.
“This is a great place to enjoy the beach and Cape Town at the same time. Very conveniently located. Close to restaurants and attractions,” wrote a user from Chicago earlier this month.
“There are plenty of restaurants all along the beach with reasonable prices and happy-hour drink specials.
“The beach is also very nice, clean with white powdery sand and great waves,” wrote another from New Jersey.
Other South African beaches that made it into the African top 25 were Grotto Beach (13) and Voelklip Beach (19) in Hermanus, and Buffalo Bay in Knysna (25).
The award for this year’s best beach in the world went to Baia do Sancho in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. The beach is on an island about 350km off Brazil’s coast, and to reach it swimmers have to walk down a steep stairway. On TripAdvisor, users raved about its location, clear waters and lack of tourists.
“The sea has an amazing colour. Ideal for swimming, snorkelling and spending the day on the beach. Access takes about 15 minutes walking and two stairs but (it’s) very worth it,” posted one user.